HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 04-57
Patricia Campbell
(817) 978-5974 ext. 5965
For Release
November 2, 2004

Brownsville, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and Weslaco Receive More Than $1.3 Million

FORT WORTH - Nearly 910,000 individuals and families will have a greater opportunity to find housing or keep the homes they have because of more than $43.7 million in housing counseling grants announced today by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson. In Texas, Brownsville, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio
and Weslaco received a total of $1,320,710. A list of the grantees and amounts follows.

It is estimated these grants will assist more than 709,000 people nationally to either become first-time homeowners
or remain homeowners after their purchase. The grants were awarded to 18 national and regional organizations and approximately 340 state and local housing counseling agencies. These organizations will provide counseling services and will help meet the Bush Administration's goal of increasing minority homeownership by 5.5 million families by the end of the decade.

"HUD's Housing Counseling Program plays a key role in support of the President's goal," said Jackson. "Under this Administration, more families are receiving counseling services than ever before and more families are purchasing and keeping their homes. In addition, this program is also helping more families find the help they need to secure decent and affordable rental housing."

The national and regional agencies distribute much of the HUD funding to community-based grassroots organizations that provide advice and guidance to low- and moderate-income families seeking to improve their housing conditions.

Of the $43 million in housing counseling grants, $2.5 million is being awarded specifically to combat predatory lending, including awards to five national and regional intermediaries and 42 state and local organizations, including Brownsville, San Antonio and El Paso. Grantees will assist unwary borrowers to avoid unreasonably high interest rates, inflated appraisals, unaffordable repayment terms, and other conditions that can result in a loss of equity, increased debt, default, and even foreclosure.

Additionally, $1.7 million is being awarded specifically for counseling in conjunction with HUD's Section 8 Homeownership Voucher Program, which allows low-income individuals to use rental vouchers to purchase homes. Awards under this category are made to 5 national intermediaries and 34 state and local agencies, including Brownsville. These grant recipients will help program participants realistically evaluate their readiness for a home purchase, understand their financing and down-payment options, and navigate what can be an extremely confusing and difficult process.

The organizations that provide housing counseling services help people become or remain homeowners or find rental housing. HUD-funded housing counseling agencies also assist homeless persons to find the transitional housing they need to move toward a permanent place to live.

HUD awards annual grants under the housing counseling program through a competitive process. Organizations that apply for grants must be HUD-approved and are subject to biennial performance reviews to maintain their HUD-approved status.

HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and


Community Development Corporation Of Brownsville
Brownsville, TX
$92,704 - Comprehensive Counseling
$30,000 - Colonias Counseling
$25,000 - Predatory Lending Counseling
$30,000 - Homeownership Voucher Counseling
CDCB's mission is to assist low-income families in attaining home ownership. Through below market financing, quality construction, the use of efficient home designs, and targeted outreach, CDCB is able to provide safe, sanitary, affordable owner-occupied housing for persons earning as little as $8,000 per year. During the past 30 years, CDCB has been the major subrecipient of over $54,000,000 in federal funds made available for housing.

El Paso Community Action Program, Project Bravo
El Paso, TX
$73,641 - Comprehensive Counseling
$28,809 - Colonias Counseling
$38,364 - Predatory Lending Counseling
El Paso Community Action Program, Project BRAVO is a private nonprofit that develops comprehensive programs to assist low-income families living in El Paso County. The agency's motto "People Helping People," is the cornerstone
of its programs that include outreach, case management, counseling, direct financial assistance, information and referral, training classes, employment services, grassroots organizing, and affordable housing.

City Of Fort Worth
Fort Worth, TX
$86,740 - Comprehensive Counseling
One of the City of Fort Worth's housing goals is to help residents realize the American dream of homeownership. The City's objective is to increase the homeownership rate from 55.9% to at least the nation's average of 68.6%. To achieve this goal, the City's Housing Department, through its Housing Services and Information (HIS) Division, has provided comprehensive housing counseling services and homeownership training since 1994. It was certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as a Housing Counseling Agency in 1997. This program compliments the City's Homebuyers' Assistance Program which provides closing cost and downpayment assistance to first-time homebuyers, amounting to a maximum of $14,999 in target areas and $8,500 elsewhere in the city.

Gulf Coast Community Services Association
Houston, TX
$53,852 - Comprehensive Counseling
Gulf Coast Community Services Association (GCCSA) is a private non-profit Community Action Agency whose mission
is to "identify, analyze and work to eliminate the causative factors of poverty by partnering with eligible families to provide comprehensive quality programs". The agency's objective is to assist low-income individuals and families by providing direct social services and programs. Each year, GCCSA provides assistance to over 40,000 low-income families and individuals.

Avenue Community Development Corporation
Houston, TX
$15,000 - Comprehensive Counseling
In 1991, a group of neighbors created an organization to develop affordable housing, preserve historic buildings, and revitalize the Old Sixth Ward, a National Register Historic District in the shadow of Houston's Downtown. Old Sixth Ward CDC, as it was then known, was operated entirely by volunteers for the first four years. Since then, the staff has grown to seven full time employees, and the Board of Trustees includes 14 community leaders. At the request of civic organizations from surrounding neighborhoods, by 1999 the target area has been expanded to include the entire Near Northside and Washington Avenue communities. The organization name was changed to Avenue CDC to reflect the expanded focus. Today, Avenue's mission is to revitalize the community by developing affordable housing and economic opportunities, while preserving the area's culture, economic, and historical diversity.

Avenue CDC's programs emphasize homeownership and financial empowerment through development of single-family homes for purchase by low-income households and by providing free homebuyer education and counseling services. The agency also offers rental housing and resident services. Environmental and historic preservation initiatives
include reclaiming brownfields, "recycling" older homes and preserving historic structures, and promoting environmentally sound new construction techniques

Money Management International (MMI)
Houston, TX
$588,000 - Comprehensive Counseling
Money Management International is a nonprofit, community service organization that provides comprehensive
housing counseling, professional financial guidance, community-wide educational programs, and debt management assistance. MMI and its family of agencies have over 46 years of experience helping consumers regain financial
control of their lives. Housing counseling services are provided through over 90 local branch offices serving 14
states. Services include: mortgage delinquency/default counseling, pre-purchase counseling and homebuyer education, home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) counseling and credit and debt management counseling.

Avenida Guadalupe Association, Inc.
San Antonio, TX
$15,000 - Comprehensive Counseling
The mission of the Avenida Guadalupe Association, Inc., (AGA) is to revitalize the economic, cultural, and physical conditions of the Avenida Guadalupe Neighborhood. Consequently, over the years the AGA has expanded services
and programs into a variety of education, employment, health, advocacy, and housing areas. Since 1979, the AGA
has gained extensive experience in designing and implementing housing and economic development projects. Major projects include the Plaza Guadalupe, The Ernest C. Olivares Senior Community Residence, the San Jacinto Senior Citizens Community, the El Parian business incubator, and the El Progreso Community Center.

The AGA has also recently completed construction of six new single-family homes for low and moderate-income families. Of particular significance is a 70-unit "Affordable Parade of Homes" development being leveraged with the
City of San Antonio (COSA) and the San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA).

The Housing Counseling Assistance Program (HCAP) was initiated to increase the homeownership rates for Hispanic families living in and around the Avenida Guadalupe Neighborhood of San Antonio. As of 1997, 54 homebuyer classes have been given to a total of 490 families. The percentage of class participants going on to buy a home has risen from 10% in 1998 to 74% in 2002.

City Of San Antonio
San Antonio, TX
$135,572 - Comprehensive Counseling
$39,176 - Predatory Lending Counseling
A HUD-approved Housing Counseling Agency since 1979, the Fair Housing Program provides comprehensive housing counseling to include tenant/landlord disputes, pre- and post-purchase education counseling, foreclosure prevention counseling, HECM counseling, predatory lending counseling, and marketing and outreach initiatives to the citizens of San Antonio. The Program is responsible for investigating housing discrimination complaints, monitoring real estate advertisements, seeking fair housing compliance from apartment complexes and pursuing educational outreach opportunities. The Program has taken on the new initiative of assisting clients who may be victims of predatory lending practices.

Unitarian Universalist Housing Assistance Corporation
San Antonio, TX
$15,000 - Comprehensive Counseling
The UU Housing Assistance Corporation provides assistance to residents who are 80% and below the median income guidelines set by HUD. The programs provided by the UU Housing Assistance Corporation are for first time
homebuyers with down payment assistance and owner-occupied home repairs for residents in the City Council Districts 1 and 2.

The mission of the Unitarian Universalist Housing Assistance Corporation (UUHAC) is "to improve the neighborhoods and housing conditions of lower- and moderate income residents by using available financial, institutional and other resources to promote the development, rehabilitation or preservation of housing."

Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid
Weslaco, TX
$53,852 - Comprehensive Counseling
Established in 1970, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) is a nonprofit organization that provides free civil legal
services to low-income and disadvantaged clients in a 68-county service area that covers the southwestern third
of the state of Texas, including the entire Texas-Mexico border region. TRLA also serves migrant and seasonal farm workers throughout Texas and six southern states (Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky). The 68 counties include the cities of San Antonio, Austin, Victoria, Corpus Christi, Laredo, El Paso and
the Rio Grande Valley. Currently, TRLA's service area encompasses 1,171,000 income eligible Texas residents.


Content Archived: March 15, 2011